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Casper Fire Department shares safety tips to prevent winter fires

Casper Fire EMS gives tips on preventing home fires in the winter.
Casper Fire EMS gives tips on preventing home fires in the winter.(Katie Reed)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:18 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - In the winter, heating appliances create a bigger risk for fires in houses and apartments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that one in seven home fires and one in five home fire deaths involve heating equipment.

“I think one of the big things to point out this time of year, is that over the winter months which would be December, January, and February, that is when almost half of the residential structure fires happen in a year,” said Casper Fire Engineer Andrew Sundell.

According to the fire department, fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected by a professional every year. If there are barriers to having a professional clean, Fire Station 1 off David Street has chimney brushes that can be borrowed free of charge.

Sundell says cooled ashes from fireplaces should be placed in a metal container and drowned in water before being disposed of.

Casper Fire encourages replacing old space heaters. They say to look for heaters that will turn off automatically when they are not upright. Older space heaters that do not have this feature may burn nearby furniture or cause fires when they tip over.

The department also recommends using wall outlets for permanent or frequently used appliances instead of extension cords. When using wall outlets, they say to only plug in one heat-producing appliance at a time.

“Just make sure that you have those plugged into a wall outlet. If you have to, you may have to get an electrician to put in a new outlet for you, but that’s the safest way to make sure your home is warm and fire safe,” said Sundell.

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